Are you Layering too many Skincare Actives?

Are you Layering too many Skincare Actives?

With the new age of active focused skincare, concentrated over the counter (OTC) products are on the rise and we are tempted to buy them all to achieve clinical results at home, overnight! These products are so alluring probably cause of their claims, price and convenience. But are you sure you’re ready for them? Or are you doing more harm than good?

We often want to layer multiple skincare actives, hoping for the best of all to act on our skin. But what we fall prey to, is a long, expensive and possibly dangerous skincare routine. 

“Most people’s skin doesn’t need six products in the morning and six in the evening. Your skin is absorbent, but it has its limits. Using fewer products ensures better absorption and effectiveness of the ingredients you’re putting on your skin.” says dermatologist, Dr. Anna H. Chacon.

If one is starting to get dry skin patches, acne breakouts, flaking, redness, inflammation, or other skin irritation, there’s a good chance they’re using too many products. Too many products is not good for any skin type! One should have a simple skincare routine instead of overloading actives. In place of buying multiple products for each different problem, one should try finding a few products that combat multiple skin concerns. Over the counter (OTC) concentrated products should be avoided if you don’t fully know how to use them. They have a higher amount of active ingredients and can lead to skin irritation if not incorporated properly in the routine.

When it comes to skincare, using multiple actives may not always be beneficial but may infact reduce their effectiveness. The pH levels of both the products may clash and only one or perhaps none will do their job! So your skincare routine should include products that complement each other. Overloading actives can result in overstressed and congested skin and one may experience extreme dryness, aggravated acne, irritation, redness, burns, hyperpigmentation and a lot more skin damage. The more substances that come in contact with skin, the more the opportunity for disrupting the skin's pH balance and damaging the skin barrier.

People often resort to social media or google the order of layering these single ingredient active formulations, but they don’t fully understand how to use them. And with so many products out there one’s always confused about which product to buy. They’d probably want to buy a salicylic peel for acne, retinol for pigmentation, collagen for wrinkles, hyaluronic for hydration and then use them all together! And then what order should you use these in? What’s the right proportion? Can you mix them? Is it better to use it during the day or night? Yes, the decision fatigue is real and so is the risk. 

So if you are planning to use concentrated skincare products, always introduce active ingredients into your routine slowly and carefully. Most importantly consult a dermatologist to understand how to incorporate multiple active ingredients in your routine and the precautions that you should take.

Imagine if someone was to layer retinol on a peel and then step out without sunscreen? It would be a disaster! So it’s important to be mindful of the amount of actives you’re layering and how. If you aren’t sure, It is always better to use a mix of pre-blend formulations that are effective and safe and can be used without causing stress to you and your skin. 

One should look for products that combine actives with calming ingredients in the right proportion which would keep the potency intact but would not be harsh on your skin. Always remember, adopting the Less is More concept in skincare will not only save you time and money but will also save your skin.

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